Sustainable development recognizes that growth must be both inclusive and environmentally sound to reduce poverty and build shared prosperity for today’s population and to continue to meet the needs of future generations. It must be efficient with resources and carefully planned to deliver immediate and long-term benefits for people, planet, and prosperity.
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IDA Credit: US $5.0 million equivalent IDA Credit from Crisis Response Window Resources: US $2.5 million equivalentTerms: Maturity = 40 years, Grace = 10 yearsIDA Grant: US $4.0 million equ... Show More +ivalentIDA Grant from Crisis Response Window Resources: US $1.5 million equivalent Project ID: P149282 Project Description: The objective of the project is to improve basic infrastructure and services in rural areas and to strengthen the linkages between smallholder farming households and markets. Show Less -
Marhay na Aga sa Indo Gabos (Good morning to everyone!)Almost two years ago, we had consultations with officials of national government agencies and local government units, civil society, private sect... Show More +or, and development partners as part of our preparations for the drafting of our new Country Partnership Strategy or CPS. Today, I am happy to let you know that we have finalized the CPS, the document that guides the World Bank Group’s operations in the Philippines from 2015 to 2018. It was endorsed by our Board on Executive Directors on June 12 this year.The CPS was developed after a long consultative process. I am happy to say that, as a result, we have been able to sharpen the strategy to support the Government’s own development goals of inclusive growth as well as to reflect the Bank’s twin goals of eliminating extreme poverty and boosting shared prosperity. Under the CPS, we will focus on areas with highest poverty incidence, where the magnitude of poverty is severe or in areas with high vulnerability. We will support programs and projects that are transformational, or those whose impact are far-reaching in terms of reducing poverty. This is the same reason why we have maintained the theme “Making Growth Work for the Poor” from our previous assistance strategy.Currently, Bicol region is benefitting from projects that are being implemented nationwide by the government with support from the World Bank. About 360,000 households are beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilya, which provides incentives to poor families to let their children stay in school and become healthy. About a million children in the Bicol region are enrolled in the program.Under the Philippine Rural Development Project (PRDP), the Department of Agriculture (DA) has earmarked P1.12 billion for farm-to-market roads and bridges in the Region, on top of the livelihood projects that are slated for implementation to benefit farmers and fisherfolk. PRDP aims to raise rural incomes and reduce poverty. The National Community Driven Development Project (NCDDP) that empowers communities to have a voice in the design and implementation of projects that address their common challenges also prioritizes the Bicol Region. And of course, Bicol is also one of the priority regions for the implementation of LEAPS or Learning, Equity and Accountability Support Project), a new nationwide project designed to improve the basic skills of students in reading and mathematics.I know that Bicol Region is one of the areas hit hard by natural disasters. Like many regions in the country today, you also suffer from floods, typhoons, and other calamities. Hence, climate change, environment, and improved disaster risk management is one of the engagement areas we are keen to work on with our partners in government and other stakeholders. Our work on climate change and disaster risk management is highly relevant to the region as it is to most parts of the country. And I’m happy to note that we have in our midst the Province of Albay as one of the leaders in climate change adaptation and disaster risk management. We can learn a lot from the experience of the province in making sure the poor and most vulnerable are resilient and less vulnerable to the impact of climate change and natural disasters.Sharing with you the CPS is only one of the reasons why we are gathered here today. The more important reason is: we want to hear and learn from you what aspects of the CPS we should focus on in the next 18 months so we can help strengthen the fight against poverty.But before we go into that, please allow me to share with you the context of what we are trying to achieve in the next few years and beyond.For the first time in seven decades, the economy has managed to sustain higher growth for over a decade now. This allowed the Philippines to double per capita income in just 7 years (from USD 1,660 to 3,270).For the first time in 7 decades, the country’s inflation has generally been low and stable at less than 5 percent, allowing businesses and households to raise real income.For the first time in 7 decades, the country has managed to lower debt-to-GDP ratio below 50 percent from over 100 percent in 2003. This allowed the government to double social services spending in the last 4 years, with strong impact on poverty.And Bicol itself has been doing remarkably well in the last several years. The latest figure (released in July 14 this year) from the Philippine Statistical Authority shows that the region is the top performer in 2012-013, growing at 9.4 percent from 6.9 in the previous year. Services and the industry sectors were the leading contributors.We will be implementing together the CPS in a very fast-changing political environment. In May 2016, for instance, the country will hold the presidential election. Important developments like these will bring a lot of changes. For reformers in this country, the question is how to navigate through these dynamics to continue to build support for pro-poor, pro-inclusive growth policies, programs and projects. So today, we are asking you the following questions:o What are the 2-3 critical reforms, programs and projects that you would like to see being strengthened or institutionalized in the next 18 months? Why? How could these be strengthened or institutionalized?o What are the risks to achieving these and how can these be managed?o How do you see the WBG and/or your sector or stakeholder group contributing to achieve these milestones? Once again, thank you for participating in this dialogue. I urge you to be candid in your views so we can have a very productive interaction. The CPS has benefitted from your inputs and we will continue to listen and work with you and other stakeholders in implementing the CPS. Partnership and collaboration will be key in achieving impact and sustaining results. Thank you! Show Less -
Presentations at the conference made it clear that there is a sense of urgency among countries to reverse course on energy subsidies, in part because of the huge fiscal pressures they can create. ... Show More +; In some cases governments are spending more than a fifth of their annual budgets to keep fuel and electricity prices at artificially low levels. There is also increasing concern about the overconsumption of fossil fuels due to subsidies and their associated contribution to pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.“Governments are ready to take action, but reform is difficult and complex,” said Anita Marangoly George, speaking at the conference. “It’s important to take into account economics, as well as timing, social structure, and the political environment.”Speakers emphasized the importance of taking the right approach to protecting the poor as subsidies are lifted, and ensuring that compensation is handled correctly.“We have to take into account the long-term impact of fuel price adjustments, since we know that the poor and near-poor will cut health and education spending as a coping mechanism,” said Professor Mohamad Ikhsan of the University of Indonesia. “We also need to make the distinction between ‘painkillers’ – short-term cash handouts – and ‘vitamins’ – long-term social safety nets.”Another session at the conference focused on public communications and how best to build consensus towards reforms. Participants agreed that government credibility, coordination and clearly articulated rationales for reform are essential ingredients for success.Other topics covered at the conference included managing price fluctuations, independent regulation of energy pricing, and how best to manage political challenges. Among the country experiences presented at the conference were those of Chile, Indonesia, Iran, Kenya and the Philippines. The $20 million ESMAP energy subsidy reform facility will support a wide range of activities to help countries ensure that reform efforts are successful and sustainable. These include:- assessments of the social, economic, environmental and political impact of subsidies, and of reforms;- support for consensus building through policy dialogue, consultations and communications strategies;- design of subsidy reform approaches, transition plans, subsidy delivery mechanisms, and social protection measures; and- support to governments throughout the process of implementation.Work under the facility has been ongoing at the country level for over a year in the Middle East, East Asia, Central Asia and Latin America and the Caribbean.In Tajikistan, the facility supported an assessment of how energy deprivation is affecting households, taking a broad look at energy security, affordability and coping mechanisms across different populations in the country. As part of this, it also explored the conditions under which an electricity tariff increase would be acceptable for consumers, and what measures could be put in place to cushion the impact of rising energy expenditure for the poor and vulnerable. In Vietnam, the facility supported work to assess how low carbon development scenarios would impact costs of electricity and the need for future price changes to avoid subsidies.In addition to supporting country action on subsidy reform, the facility also supports knowledge exchange, encouraging peer learning among client countries on reform approaches, pricing strategies, communications and consensus building, and mitigation measures such as social protection mechanisms. Show Less -
MANILA, November 24, 2014—Rural infrastructure projects worth one billion pesos (P1.12 billion) are slated for implementation in the Bicol Region under the new Philippine Rural Development Project (PR... Show More +DP) to be launched this week by President Benigno S. Aquino III.Implemented by the Department of Agriculture nationwide, PRDP is currently the biggest government project supported by the World Bank Group under its new Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) endorsed by the Bank Group’s Board of Executive Directors this year. The US$508.25 million project aims to improve the productivity of small farmers and fisherfolk and expand their access to markets.In the Bicol Region, the PRDP will provide farm-to-market roads as well as livelihood projects for farmers and fisherfolk. The municipalities that will directly benefit these farm-to-market roads include Basud, Elena, Jose Panganiban, Libmanan, Mercedes, Oas, Pasacao, Sipocot, and Sta. Elena.Other parts of the country will also benefit from infrastructure projects including farm-to-market roads, bridges, tire tracks, communal irrigation, potable water systems, post-harvest facilities, production facilities, fish landings, fish sanctuaries, storage facilities, trading posts, green houses, solar driers, and slope stabilization works.“With our support of PRDP we want to demonstrate our commitment to support government efforts that directly help the rural poor, including those in the Bicol Region,” said World Bank Country Director Motoo Konishi during a multi-stakeholder dialogue on the CPS via videoconference today.“The project will encourage farmers and fisherfolk to increase and diversify production and to engage in value-adding activities that can increase their income. Investments in rural infrastructure will benefit Bicolano producers, traders, and the rural population through better transport infrastructure, reduced travel time, and improved access to markets,” Mr. Konishi added.In addition to PRDP, elementary education in Bicol Region is also a priority under the Bank Group’s new CPS.“Currently under implementation here in Bicol Region is the Learning, Equity, and Accountability Program Support (LEAPS) Project, a new US$300 million nationwide project designed to improve the basic skills of students in reading and mathematics,” said Ms. Maribelle S. Zonaga, World Bank Senior Country Operations Officer. “This complements existing programs on education and health here in the region – the Pantawid Pamilya that provides incentives for families to keep their children in school and have regular health checks,” she added.Ms. Zonaga said that the World Bank Group is a long-term partner of the Philippines and the Bicol Region. She said that the Bank Group, under its new CPS, will support government projects in the following areas:• Transparent and accountable governance: strengthening public financial management, improving fiscal transparency and financial accountability, and supporting greater demand from citizens for government accountability.• Empowerment of the poor and vulnerable: improving health and education outcomes, strengthening social protection and ensuring the availability of more timely and improved measurements of poverty.• Rapid, inclusive and sustained economic growth: promoting economic policy reform for inclusive growth, boosting private sector development by improving the investment climate for firms of all sizes, including greater access to finance, and increasing productivity and job creation, especially in rural areas.• Climate change, environment, and disaster risk management: increasing physical, financial and institutional resilience to natural disasters and climate change impacts, and improving natural resource management and sustainable development.• Peace, institution building, and social and economic opportunity: supporting social and economic development in conflict-affected regions in Mindanao, including the Bangsamoro.BackgroundThe CPS is the WBG’s “business plan” in support of the Philippines’ development strategy. It aims to identify key areas where the Bank Group can support development and help reduce poverty. The CPS is a joint strategy of the three members of the World Bank Group (WBG): the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), also known as the “World Bank”; the International Finance Corporation (IFC) focused on the private sector in developing countries; and the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) which provides political risk insurance to private sector investors and lenders. Show Less -
Blended Finance in ActionWandee’s journey to UN recognition required forward thinking and determination, as well as realization by the Thai government that it needed more a diversified, climate-friend... Show More +ly energy supply. Thailand now aims to generate at least 20 percent of energy from renewable sources by 2022.In 2009, Wandee obtained 34 solar farm permits with a vision of building 200MW solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity in the sunny, rural areas of northeast Thailand.There was one missing piece: financing. Wandee needed to convince investors to place big bets on her large-scale solar PV plants, but investors were hesitant to provide capital to a largely unproven market. So in 2010, the IFC stepped in to provide finance to SPCG’s two pilot projects of about 20MW of installed solar capacity.With these initial projects underway, Wandee turned her attention to raising additional long-term finance for follow up projects to achieve SPCG's scale-up goal.To help sustain the momentum, IFC provided a US$8 million loan “blended” with $4 million in concessional financing from the Clean Technology Fund (CTF) – a multi-donor fund within the Climate Investment Funds that provides middle income countries with concessional resources for renewable energy and energy efficiency projects. This blended financing enabled SPCG to mobilize enough capital from three local banks to get an additional 12MW capacity of projects over the finish line. The support also sent positive signals to local financial markets about utility-scale solar PV and gave investors more confidence.In a few short years, Wandee and SPCG were able to attract upwards of $800 million of investment and have delivered 250MW of solar PV capacity in Thailand. This new generation capacity helps avoid over 200,000 tons of CO2 equivalent emissions annually – the equivalent of taking more than 40,000 cars off the road or eliminating the use of almost 500,000 barrels of oil each year.“Blended Climate Finance is one of the tools that IFC has available to help pave the way for these types of transformational projects to catalyze climate-smart, private sector investments,” said Kruskaia Sierra-Escalante, head of Blended Climate Finance at IFC. “We have been honored to work with Wandee in support of her vision, and are convinced that helping visionary entrepreneurs like her through blended finance investments can help unlock markets.”Setting an Example for the WorldThe financial success of the early solar PV projects has helped drive private investment in Thailand’s clean energy sector, prompting industry analysts to pick the Thai solar PV market as one of the most attractive among the world’s emerging economies.As Thailand’s pioneer in utility scale solar and now, solar rooftop development, Wandee considers her solar farms a model for other countries.“Solar energy is the ‘endless power’ – it’s clean and available at no cost,” she said. “Other countries can replicate our experience in Thailand and undergo similar transformations that benefit their citizens.”The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) chooses Lighthouse Activities to celebrate each year. The Women for Results award honors Lighthouse Activities that demonstrate the critical leadership and participation of women in addressing climate change. A 25-member international advisory panel selected Wandee as one of three winners this year in the Women for Results category. The Momentum for Change platform is implemented through support of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, and other partners. Show Less -